GW4 researchers have contributed to a new Channel 4 series, 简单的生活, which follows a group of 24 Brits who have given up all their worldly possessions to see whether living a simpler life off grid, without any form of technology, mains electricity or gas, benefits their health 而且 wellbeing.

Guided by a Pennsylvania Amish family from Ohio, who stayed with the volunteers on a 40-acre Devon farm teaching them how to grow crops, 奶山羊和奶牛, 而且 how to live an almost pre-industrial existence, the reality show provides insight into the impact of simpler living on life satisfaction, health 而且 wellbeing, away from the trappings of modern society.

The group’s journey was evaluated by a team of environmental human health, mental health 而且 psychology researchers from the Universities of Bath, 布里斯托尔, Exeter 而且 California. 在一起, they developed an analytical approach to assess the group using a series of psychological assessments completed by the participants before 而且 during the six-month experiment.

丽贝卡Hafner博士, a 研究 Associate from the Department of Psychology at the mg电子游戏摆脱 而且 member of the programme’s expert team, 说:

We sat down at the farm 而且 analysed the data from participant questionnaires taken at various stages during their time there, immersed in the Amish lifestyle. It was interesting to observe how living with reduced choice, including no access to technology, had an impact on the life satisfaction 而且 wellbeing of the participants. Underpinning the Theory of Choice is the concept that too much choice may undermine satisfaction 而且 wellbeing, which is more prevalent in western society. Certainly some thrived within the experimental setting of a simpler life 而且 a took a lot from it, while others struggled to adapt.

路易斯·艾略特博士, Lecturer in Environment 而且 Human Health from the University of Exeter 而且 member of the expert team, 补充道:

The theory goes that contrary to popular belief, having lots of choice in daily life can actually undermine our psychological well-being. This was a unique opportunity to study what would happen to a group of people who opted to have all those choices, 而且 all modern comforts, taken away from them, 而且 instead had to live a simple, rural lifestyle for 5 months. We were responsible for collecting an array of psychological data from the participants across their time on the farm. 虽然一些蓬勃发展, others really struggled, 而且 a fascinating generational divide emerged between the millennials, 而且 their middle-aged counterparts.

Dr Myles-Jay Linton, Vice-Chancellor’s Fellow from 布里斯托尔 Medical School 而且 Elizabeth Blackwell Institute at the University of 布里斯托尔, 补充道:

The p而且emic has made lots of us reflect on our busy 21st century lives, exploring the pros 而且 cons of a stripped back lifestyle will hopefully prompt people to really think about how living a simpler life could lead to greater life satisfaction. With the data collected we were able to unpick how personality characteristics 而且 core values explained the drastically different experiences of community members on the farm.

The series of psychological assessments was overseen by Barry Schwartz, Professor of Social Theory at Swarthmore College 而且 visiting professor at the University of California. Professor Schwartz authored “The Paradox of Choice” outlining how modern western lifestyles might be linked to less happiness 而且 was invited to oversee the Channel 4 show which took place from May to October 2021.

The scientific advisory team comprised, 丽贝卡Hafner博士, a Psychologist from the mg电子游戏摆脱, 路易斯·艾略特博士, Lecturer in Environment 而且 Human Health from the University of Exeter, Dr Myles-Jay Linton, Vice-Chancellor’s Fellow from the 布里斯托尔 Medical School at the University of 布里斯托尔, 而且 Professor Barry Schwarz, the show’s lead psychologist 而且 colleagues Professor Richard Lucas, Elizabeth Dunn博士 而且 Professor Sonja Lyubomirsky.

简单的生活, a six-part series, started on Tuesday 22 March at 9.下午15点在第4频道.